Cacheu is a town in north western Guinea-Bissau, lying on the Cacheu River. The town of Cacheu is situated in territory of the Papel people. Cacheu was one of the earliest European colonial settlements in sub-saharan Africa, due to its strategic location on the Cacheu river.
Cacheu developed a European/Afro-European population from the late fifteenth century through informal settlement of Cape Verdian and Portugues traders, adventurers and outcasts (lancados). The authorities in mainland Portugal also sent to Cacheu degregados - people condemned to exile for a variety of offences.